2009 a difficult year, but we still have many reasons to be thankful

To the editor:

Beyond the turkey dinners and football games, the true meaning of this Thanksgiving season is to show gratitude for those who help make our lives better.

And while 2009 was a difficult year for families and businesses, we still have many reasons to give thanks.

We can be thankful for Teresa Neinhaus of Fenton, who used her Red Cross training to save the life of her son’s friend who nearly drowned in a backyard pool. Our gratitude goes out to volunteers like Norman and Wanda Bellairs of Mehlville, who left at a moment’s notice to help victims of tornadoes in Arkansas.

And we are indebted to people like Sue Worley of Affton, who provides on-the-scene emergency assistance after disasters, helping people in a critical time of need. These are just a few of the people in the south county community working to make a difference.

History has proved that when Americans are in need, America responds. When a neighbor’s house burns down or someone needs a lifesaving blood transfusion, or a family needs to contact a deployed service member in an emergency, or a child needs a hug and a blanket — the American Red Cross is there.

Twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, the American Red Cross is buoyed by the spirit of volunteerism, compassion and generosity that is a hallmark of the St. Louis community.

Please know that we are working hard at all times to be there with help and hope when people need it most.

On behalf of the American Red Cross, thank you for your ongoing support and commitment.

Cindy Erickson

chief executive officer

American Red Cross St. Louis Area Chapter